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Posted at: Oct 1, 2019, 6:53 AM; last updated: Oct 1, 2019, 10:10 AM (IST)

Opposing ‘outsider’, Akali leader files papers

Deepkamal Kaur & Ashok Kaura

Tribune Reporters

Phagwara, September 30

All 16 nomination papers for the Phagwara Assembly bypoll were filed before SDM-cum-Returning Officer Latif Ahmed on the last day today.

Those who filed papers were Congress’ Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, BJP’s Rajesh Bagha, BSP’ Thekedar Bhagwan Dass, LIP’s Jarnail Nangal, AAP’s Santosh Kumar and Charan Kumar People’s Party of Democratic India. Sitting Akali councillor Baljinder Singh Thekedar filed his papers as an Independent. Others Independents were Neetu Shatran Wala, Sonu Kumar, Manjinder Kumar and Paramjit Kaur. The remaining were covering candidates.

PPCC incharge Asha Kumari accompanied Dhaliwal. Asked about the party decision to field all new candidates, she said, “All four of them have been working for many years for the party.”

Trust deficit in PDA

Despite warning by constituent parties of the PDA to LIP against fielding their candidate, Simarjit Bains today accompanied Jarnail Nangal for filing of his papers.

Bains said he had made it clear to the alliance partners right at the time of Lok Sabha polls that his candidate would contest from Phagwara. PEP leader Sukhpal Khaira and BSP poll incharge Rachhpal Raju termed it a lie. BSP state chief Jasvir Garhi said they would wait for LIP till October 3 afternoon, the last day of withdrawal of candidature, before deciding the next action.

Just in nick of time

The Congress and BJP candidates filed their papers in the last half an hour on the last day. They reached the SDM office past 2.30 pm, just before the 3 pm deadline.

Rift in SAD-BJP?

Even as the Phagwara seat falls in the BJP kitty, Akali councillor Baljinder Singh Thekedar filed his papers as an Independent. He said, “My supporters were upset with the BJP fielding outsiders for the last three polls in the constituency.”

Asked if his party stopped him from contesting against the BJP, Thekedar replied in the negative.

The move points to bitterness in relations between the SAD-BJP in Punjab too since they fell apart in Haryana.

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